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Abies magnifica

Abies magnifica - Red fir description


Scientific name: Abies magnifica  A.Murray  1863

Synonyms: Abies amabilis var. magnifica (A.Murray bis) Lavallée, Abies campylocarpa A.Murray bis, Abies magnifica var. argentea Beissn., Abies magnifica var. glauca Beissn., Abies magnifica var. magnifica, Abies nobilis var. magnifica (A.Murray bis) Kellogg, Picea magnifica (A.Murray bis) Gordon, Picea nobilis var. magnifica (A.Murray bis) J.Nelson, Pinus campylocarpa (A.Murray bis) Voss, Pinus magnifica (A.Murray bis) W.R.McNab, Pinus nobilis var. magnifica (A.Murray bis) Voss, Pseudotsuga magnifica (A.Murray bis) W.R.McNab

Infraspecific taxa: Abies magnifica var. shastensis Lemmon  1890

Common names: Red fir, California red fir, Silvertip fir



Tree to 50(-60) m tall, with trunk to 2.6 m in diameter. Bark grayish when young, soon becoming reddish brown and strongly ridged and furrowed. Branchlets with dense reddish hairs at first, grooved between the leaf bases. Buds 3-5 mm long, not resinous, sparsely hairy. Needles all pointing upward on the twig from an abruptly bent leaf base, 2-3.5 cm long, bluish or grayish green above, the tips rounded on lower branches to pointed on cone-bearing branches. Individual needles flat to very plump in cross section and with a resin canal on either side near the edge just inside the lower epidermis, with 8-13 rows of stomates above and four or five rows in each waxy stomatal band beneath. Pollen cones 15-20 mm long, reddish brown. Seed cones elongate egg-shaped, (10-)14-20 cm long, (3-)7-10 cm across, purple when young, maturing yellowish brown. Bracts a little shorter than the seed scales and hidden by them or (in variety shastensis) slightly longer and bent back over them without fully covering them. Seed body 12-15 mm long, the wing about as long. Cotyledons seven or eight.

Southeastern Oregon to northern Coast Ranges and southern Sierra Nevada of California. Forming pure stands or mixed with other conifers, including white fir (Abies concolor), incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), and giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), in midelevation montane coniferous forest; 1,400-2,700(-2,900) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern



Abies magnifica ’Argentea’    
Abies magnifica ’Dáblice’
Abies magnifica ’Glauca’   
Abies magnifica ’Glauca Pendula’
Abies magnifica ’Glauca Prostrata’  
Abies magnifica ’Hexenbesen Horstmann’
Abies magnifica ’Macrocarpa’
Abies magnifica ’Mt. Si’
Abies magnifica ’Nana’  
Abies magnifica ’Prostrata’   
Abies magnifica ’Shastensis Blue’
Abies magnifica ’Wispy’    

Attribution from: Conifers Garden